No alarms set. There’s no real need to wake up, have a meal on the table at a specific time… and that’s before you have to think about getting your kids up and fed. The vibe and flow of the day over the summer, for many, has been the absolute opposite of a structured work and school day. Kids get up when they want (or get yelled at five times), and stay up way later than pre-COVID. How about mealtimes, well they all can roll into more of a grazing session with all the snacking that’s still going on throughout the day. Breakfast is more of a brunch, followed by LINNER, which I had never heard of before Chris taught me, that looks like lunch and dinner as one.
Well, that’s about to come to a crashing end as in the northern hemisphere, and in Canada, where I am, September is upon us and it’s like New Years as we unwillingly put the holidays behind us and get back to some sort of routine.
September always brings a different feel to it, a different vibe to the summer days–the cooler mornings and evenings, and it’s already getting darker earlier and the sunrise that I see from my bedroom and use as my morning “I know what time it is” clock, has shifted so I’m getting up to a much darker sky already.
Oh and did I fail to mention it’s BACK TO SCHOOL? Yep, stress is through the roof. Decisions have been made and questioned a thousand times… to send kids, or not… will we get another wave or can we do this. So. Much. Mental. Stress.
To help both you and I, today on EAT THIS with Lianne, let’s talk about structure, routine, sleep schedules, packing a lunch, how to get kids involved, how to get kids up in the morning and taking responsibility for what THEY need to do. Today I have an incredible expert on with me. Someone who has helped me to shape my parenting default from how I was parented growing up, and be a constant source of support with down to earth ways to get through the hardest of days of being a parent, and you know, all while not completely losing the plot.
Alyson Schafer is an author, TV host, podcast host, guest expert for TV and radio, psychotherapist in private practice, and one of Canada’s more notable parenting experts. Her three parenting books have graced my bookshelves – Breaking The Good Mom Myth, Honey, I Wrecked the Kids and Ain’t Misbehavin’, and I’ve been in the audience of many of her workshops, presentations, and lectures.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Alyson. It’s a busy time of year, not only with the uncertainty of what’s next but as kids head back to school, both parent’s and kids’ stress level has piqued to new heights. I know you’re in high demand, and maybe more so this year, so thank you for taking the time to join us. Welcome, Alyson.
- It’s back to routine, back to school and this particular year, it doesn’t look like all the others. What are you seeing are the biggest stresses that parents are facing?
- Is there an age group who seem to be more affected by COVID than others?
- As kids head back to school, and we all find our new ways of getting back into a routine after months of either not much, or nothing that resembles what it has in the past, how would you suggest we look at this and can you give your top 3 steps to ease the stress?
- I have two teens who have had difficulty with all the changes, and their sleep schedule is far from what it usually is. As they head back to in school or home or online learning, can you help with sleep schedules?
- How do you suggest that parents tackle the new schedule with their family overall?
- What age do you think that kids can start packing their own lunch and snacks?
- Are there any other top tips that you can share to ease into this new routine with homeschooling, online learning, work from home and well, the overwhelm and stress that so many are navigating.
Wow, did we cover it all? That was some mind-blowing and GOLD that Alyson shared even if you don’t have kids going back to school. The family meeting that we talked about can be used to set expectations for just about any situation. I’ve used it when I have traveled in the past and got to where we were going and we all sat down and said what we hoped to get from the trip and time together and what we each wanted to do. It’s incredibly empowering for everyone to have their say, especially those who usually go along for the ride and end up disappointed.
One of the comments that resonated with me was when Alyson said about sitting down with your kids and owning it. Owning that we-the all-knowing parent, DON’T know… we don’t know what’s going to happen as they head back to school. But we need to empower them, to give them the space to ask questions, have us answer what we do know and then together research what we don’t. She said that our calmness in the face of chaos is one of the things that will for sure, calm them.
As for bringing all this back to nutrition, I have a free download for you of a lunch planner with some suggestions of foods to help structure the lunchbox, whether that’s an at home lunch or take-to-school lunch. It doesn’t matter, pack that lunch in advance anyway. Go to sproutright.com/lunch to get that download and I’ll be sharing more so be sure that you like SproutRight’s FB and IG pages and that I have your email. You won’t want to miss what I have coming up for you.
And if you’d like another freebie go to from SR.com/coolsnacks after you type in /lunch.
I think this is worth a mention, Chris. We’ve just completed 36 episodes, the majority of them done from your bathroom and my closet and can you believe that there have been over 35,000 downloads of this podcast! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Have you shared this? Are you one of our over 500 subscribers? If not, why not?! There’s no better time than now. Because you don’t want to miss what we have coming up for you this fall!
Ok, another long one. I’m getting more long winded as we progress here. If you’re finding that you preferred the 25 – 30 minute episodes, drop us a line and I’ll tighten it all up.
Thanks for tuning in, stay strong, know that we are here to support you, we see you and know that there are times when all you can focus on is breathing in and out. Once you’ve done that, then remember to EAT THIS one mouthful at a time.
More about Alyson and how you can find her.
Alyson’s youtube channel #familytalk https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZco_5s7VkjTh-DgwvDSC5w9_iX3_ZZph
Alyson Schafer is one of Canada’s more notable parenting experts. She is a family counsellor and author of three parenting books; Breaking The Good Mom Myth, Honey, I Wrecked the Kids and Ain’t Misbehavin’.
Alyson has been a three time TEDx speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels Belgium. She has spoken on stages in Switzerland, Bulgaria, Uruguay and more. She hosts her own TV show “The Parent Show” and podcast “Parenting The Adlerian Way”. The media call on Alyson regularly for her expertise. She is the resident guest expert for such national outlets as The Marilyn Denis Show, Global Morning and CBC radio.